Vaishali Shadangule wants to change Indian bridal outfits: “less bling, more textiles”. The designer, who recently became the first Indian woman to show up at Paris Couture Week, unveiled a new bridal collection line earlier this week, titled Shakuntala.
Combining traditional weavings and textiles, the line offers a contemporary touch to bridal wear while adding elements of nature to the design language.
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In an interview with Mint Lounge, she talks about the new collection, the need to make hand-woven textiles shine, and her desire to change Indian bridal wear. Edited excerpts:
For this collection, you have combined the idea of love and mythology. What drove you?
My focus for the collection is textiles. I feel like even for a wedding we have such beautiful textiles, why not create layers using different fabrics instead of doing those heavy embroidery. If you see the history or mythology of Indian costumes, you will find such beautiful textiles for weddings. Even now, in different parts of India, it’s still about the fabric. In Maharashtra, Gujarat, even northern India, textiles were the original highlight. Embroidery can be overwhelming; we have to make the fabric shine.
When we speak of a bride, we only think of embellishments and embroidery. I want to change this. When I show clients my bridal clothes, they say, “Oh, where’s the bling?” Of course, the embroidery is important and I have used it, but you also have to see and feel the texture of the fabric.
What kind of fabrics did you use?
Chanderi, Benarsi brocades, Murshidabad silks, merino wools, Khun, all are very dear to me.
And the link between love and mythology?
i was reading on Shakuntala and I read these beautiful love stories that inspired me. And the clothes in these photos… the silhouettes, the drapes, so simple but so sexy. This is my attempt to make wedding clothes more functional: you can wear the lehenga with a white shirt, the cabbage with a plain cotton skirt; it’s all about mixing and matching. It has elements from my Paris show.
How did you combine the elements of your Parisian fashion show in this collection?
I used textures like the rope which were part of the Paris collection. I wanted to show a unique seamless flow in both Indian and Western clothing.
Do you think today’s shoppers are ready to buy less blingy wedding outfits?
It’s a mixed bag, to be honest. Young people, post-millennials, are definitely interested in something light, comfortable and versatile. And something functional.
Because if we are talking about sustainability, and if we are talking about nature, we must create clothes that are used regularly and that are not left in the closets.
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